Expert tips for using staplers in home repair

August 12, 2015

For lighter work, whether it's permanent or temporary, staplers are something to consider as a convenient alternative to hammers and nails. Here are a few expert tips for when you're stapling around your home:

  • If your staple gun accepts staples of different lengths, select the correct size for the job at hand. Load the magazine and test the gun by firing a staple into some scrap material.
  • Position the material to be fixed. Place the staple gun over the fixing position and squeeze the trigger to fire the staple. Repeat the process to make further fixings, reloading the magazine as it runs out.
  • Some fastening jobs, such as stapling plastic sheets over a window, are meant to be temporary and you will need to remove the staples later.
  • Here's a way to make staple removal hassle-free: Slip a heavy-duty rubber band around your staple gun. The rubber band will act as a spacer, leaving the staples sticking up slightly so that they'll be easy to remove with a staple remover. This method also keeps your staples from cutting through very thin materials.
  • A hammer tacker stapler is great for attaching vapour barriers, insulation and building wrap. This tool is useful for any job that does not require great accuracy of placement. The tacker also makes it easier to work overhead and is easier on your arm muscles and hands than a regular staple gun. To set a staple, just strike the tacker against the piece you're working on.
  • If you do a lot of stapling, a power stapler is a worthwhile investment.
  • A quick, neat way to run phone and stereo wire is to staple it in place with a special wiring tacker stapler. This tool shoots staples that bridge the wire without damaging it. Wire tackers shoot various-sized staples, so measure the wire you are running to determine which tacker to buy. You can also buy a multi-purpose stapler that will fire curved staples for cabling as well as different straight staples.
Expert tips for using staplers in home repair

Common staples

Staples come in various sizes. Here's a quick breakdown of some common sizes and what sort of jobs they're suited for.

  • 6 mm (1/4 in): These staples are good for light upholstering, such as setting up cornice boards (pelmets) and blinds.
  • 8 mm (5/16 in): Staples of this size are good for heavy upholstering, curtains, and fastening insulation foil.
  • 10 mm (3/8 in): Staples that are suited to work on light insulation, weather-stripping, roofing papers, and wire mesh.
  • 13 mm (1/2 in): This size of staple is best for work with carpet underlay, canvas, and felt stripping.
  • 15 mm (5/8 in): These staples are suited to work with insulation board, thin hardboard or MDF boards.

Following these expert tips and this size guide will help you to staple smarter when working around your home.

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